Best WiFi Adapter For Gaming – (Reviews & Buying Guide)

| Last Updated On: April 27, 2021
 
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best USB wifi adapter for gaming

It is safe to say that for a lot of people, Wi-Fi adapters are there to make life easy, and I can relate to that, as well. Ever since I started using one, I didn’t have to rely on any other form of networking in the first place. However, finding an adapter was a bit difficult for me since I wasn’t aware of what is good and what is not.

Thankfully, finding the best Wi-Fi adapter for gaming was not something that took me a long time and eventually, I was able to get my hands on something that is genuinely good and works well, too.

With that said, if you are looking to get your hands on something good, few are going to start looking at the best adapters that are available that you can check out. It is better that you start looking at these options, and you will do just fine.


Best WIFI Adapters For Gaming – A Well Managed Chart Below!


Image Name Price Rating Specs
Neogamr’s Pick  ASUS PCE-AC88
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 2167 Mbps
  • Interface: PCI-E
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Best USB Adapter Netgear Nighthawk
AC1900 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1900 Mbps
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Premium Pick TP-Link Archer
TX3000E AX3000 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6
  • Data Transfer Rate: 2402 Mbps
  • Interface: PCI-E
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Rosewill RNX
AC1900PCE 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1300 Mbps
  • Interface: PCI-E
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
TP-Link AC1300 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1300 Mbps
  • Interface: PCI-E
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
TRENDnet AC1900 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1300 Mbps
  • Interface: USB
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
ASUS AC1900 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1300 Mbps
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Linksys WUSB6300 
  • Network Standard: 802.11ac/Wi-Fi 5
  • Data Transfer Rate: 867 Mbps
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz

Best WIFI Adapter For Gaming


Finding the right adapter should not be that difficult in reality. You can just look for something that is good for you and fits within your budget and go ahead with it. With so much to choose from, people often find themselves confused, and they don’t know what to do and what not to do.

We are here to help you choose the right option so you can make the sense of what to buy.


#1 – ASUS PCE-AC88


– Specifications:

  • Dual-band 4×4 AC3100 Wi-Fi.
  • Speeds up to 2,100 Mbps on 5GHz band and 1,000 Mbps on 2.4GHz band.
  • External magnetic antenna base.
  • Individual antennas can also be attached to the PCIe card directly.
  • Custom heatsink for proper heat dissipation.
  • R-sma antenna connectors allow for wider compatibility.

– Advantages:

  • One of the best performance.
  • Looks excellent with the large red heatsink.
  • Remote antenna mounting with the included base.
  • Compatible with SFF.
  • Great price.

– Drawbacks:

  • The cable is fixed.

The fact that Asus has given us so many amazing products over the past couple of years is not something that can be overlooked. The company knows what it is doing and continues to work on that. Therefore, the products that they are offering are always great, and you get to have a wonderful experience overall.

The adapter that we are looking at today is the ASUS PCE-AC88, it is one of the better options available from Asus and that too, for a great price. Therefore, this one gets the job done and that too, without any issues that might come your way.

So, what is so good about this adapter? Well, there is a lot. For starters, the overall performance is excellent across the board. But not just that, the looks of this antenna are also excellent, especially with the large read heatsink that looks good.

The remote antennas also ship with antenna mounting with ease, and you are also getting SFF compatibility. Not just that, you are also getting one of the best prices that you can imagine in a good adapter.

My only complaint here is that the cable is fixed, which means that you are only going to be limited to a 1-meter distance. But if that is not an issue, then I don’t think you will run into problems.

– Our Verdict:

At this point, it is safe to say that Asus has done a fantastic job with the ASUS PCE-AC88. It is a simply implemented antenna that works well in all the case, and the best thing is that you are not going to run into any issues with this adapter as well.

Granted, the fixed cable might be an issue for some people, but aside from that, this is one of the best adapters that I have tested in a long time.


#2 – Netgear Nighthawk AC1900


– Specifications:

  • AC1900 Wi-Fi.
  • Speeds up to 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band, and 1,300 Mbps on 5 GHz band.
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi.
  • Supports all operating systems.
  • 3×4 MIMO design.
  • It can work with any Wi-Fi router.

– Advantages:

  • You are getting pretty good speeds.
  • There is a great range.
  • There is also reliable connectivity, as well.
  • The adapter is great for both desktops and laptops, as well.

– Drawbacks:

  • The adapter itself is large.

Netgear as a company does not need any introduction to begin with. They are great in almost every single way, and the best part is that when you are buying something that is by them, you are buying into a quality product that you can just forget about once you have started using it because it is not going to create any issues.

The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is what we have today, and this is what confused me a bit because there is a similarly named router, too. However, once the confusion phase was over, I started looking at the adapter and realized that this follows the same design language as Netgear’s Nighthawk routers, and for the right reasons.

There is a lot to love about this Nighthawk adapter to begin with. For starters, you are buying something that has one of the fastest speeds that I have tested. Not just that, the overall range of the adapter is also excellent, so you are not going to run into any problems.

In addition to that, if you are buying something for the sake of a reliable and strong connection, this is the one that you should be investing in, thanks to how good it works and how stable it is across the board. Not just that, the adapter offers great versatility and can be used with both desktops as well as laptops without any issues that might come your way.

On the downside, my only issue here is that you are getting an adapter that has a large footprint. So, you will need to think about where you are going to put the adapter. Other than that, there are no issues that could come your way

– Our Verdict:

Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is more adequate than you might think. The adapter works well in every single case and is a great value for money, too. So, you do not have to worry about anything as far as the value is concerned.


#3 – TP-Link Archer TX3000E AX3000


– Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Speeds up to 2,402 Mbps on 5GHz, and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.
  • 75% lower latency.
  • Wider signal coverage.
  • Bluetooth 5 support.
  • Multi-directional antennas.

– Advantages:

  • Brings support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
  • Excellent speeds.
  • Stable connection.
  • Can be mounted in several ways.
  • Drivers receive regular updates.

– Drawbacks:

  • No drivers for Linux or macOS.

TP-Link as a company is something that has been around for as long as one can remember, and the fact that they are delivering some of the best networking products is not what we would generally ignore. They have everything ranging from excellent routers to excellent modems and adapters. So, you are all set here.

Now, the TP-Link Archer TX3000E AX3000 is one of the higher-end offerings that the company has, and the best part is that it is going to deliver great performance for anyone who is looking for it. If you are going to look for a good Wi-Fi adapter, get this, and you will not have to stress about any other issue coming your way in the first place.

One of the best things about this Wi-Fi adapter is that it is one of the few options that brings support for both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, so you are getting a great connectivity option. As far as the mounting is concerned, you can mount it on both standard PCs or small form factor PCs with ease.

The driver installation process is super simple and easy, which means that you will not have to struggle with anything of such. We also love how you are getting excellent speeds with this Wi-Fi adapter, especially if you are using a good internet connection.

My only concern here is that you are not getting any driver for Linux or macOS. So, if you are on those platforms, you might want to look elsewhere because the support here is not going to be there.

– Our Verdict:

Finding the right Wi-Fi adapter might be a difficult task for a lot of people, but the thing is that if you are looking for something good, then the TP-Link Archer TX3000E AX3000 is the one that you should be going for.

Granted, it might be overkill for many people, but if you want performance, this is the way you can get it, and that too, with ease.


#4 – Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE


– Specifications:

  • Great heat dissipation.
  • Up to 3 antennas.
  • Supports advanced security like 64/128 WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES).
  • Beamforming technology.
  • MIMO technology.
  • Universal support.

– Advantages:

  • Great performance.
  • Looks simple and minimalistic.
  • Easy to install.
  • Works as intended.
  • Hassle-free setup.

– Drawbacks:

  • There is zero portability.

Rosewill is one of the companies that is known for making a lot of good products but tends to stay under the radar for one reason or another. Now, it is important to understand that when you are talking about their products, it does not mean that they are bad by any means.

They have made some pretty good cases, and today, we are looking at the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE as this is one of the best adapters available for you to check out, and it does not even cost a lot of money, either.

Now, the good news is that if you are looking for something that delivers a solid, no-nonsense experience, this is one of the best adapters that you can get your hands on. Granted, it might not be to someone’s choice or taste because it does not mount outside the case, but that is just one thing.

The performance is exceptional, the installation process is super-simple, and once installed, you do not have to worry about anything that might come your way. The adapter itself is small enough that it can be tucked inside on the PCI Express slot, too.

Sadly, you are looking at an excellent adapter, but at the same time, it is marred by some of the issues by design. For instance, you are looking at an adapter that can only be installed inside the case, and there is no way for any portability, and that can be a downside for a lot of people, including myself.

– Our Verdict:

If you are looking for something that just works, and you are not concerned about anything else to begin with. Then the good news is that getting the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE is the right thing to do as it is a very simple and straightforward adapter that is going to work just fine for you, and you will not have any issues as far as the performance is concerned.


#5 – TP-Link AC1300


– Specifications:

  • Speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps.
  • Heat sink for better overall performance.
  • Great coverage with 2x antennas.
  • Full support for all operating systems.
  • 2-year warranty.

– Advantages:

  • Great value for money.
  • Easy to install.
  • Works well.
  • Good performance.
  • Affordable.

– Drawbacks:

  • There is no portability.

The thing with TP-Link is that they have a long list of offerings available, and you can choose whatever you wish to, and the best part is that there is not going to be a problem in this case. If you are looking for something that is good and is solid, you should go for their products.

The TP-Link AC1300 is something that is on the more affordable side, and the best part is that it is not going to be one of those products that have average or poor performance, as that is not the case here. The performance here is excellent in every case.

Now, this is one of the more affordable adapters, which means that as far as the performance is concerned, you are getting what you pay for. The same is the case with pretty much everything. You are not going to spend on something too much.

In addition to that, the installation process is a lot simpler than you might think, and you are not investing in something that is going to complicate the overall process. You get a matte black heatsink that just quite sits there and does its job, and the low profile design allows this adapter to be installed with ease anywhere you want.

Sadly, there is one thing about this adapter that I cannot seem to shake off, and that is the fact that with this adapter, you are not getting any portability. You just have to install it inside your PC, and that is about it. Which is not what most people are going to be looking for.

– Our Verdict:

If you are looking for something simple and just works, getting your hands on the TP-Link AC1300 is a good idea because this is an affordable option for anyone who is looking to get things done. You are not going to have to spend a lot of money trying to figure out what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided as this Wi-Fi adapter just works.


#6 – TRENDnet AC1900


– Specifications:

  • Up to 1,300 Mbps Wi-Fi AC or 600 Mbps Wi-Fi N performance.
  • Universal compatibility.
  • Great coverage with 4 high-powered antennas.
  • Beamforming technology.
  • 3-year of warranty.

– Advantages:

  • One of the easiest adapters to install.
  • Great performance.
  • Looks great.

– Drawbacks:

  • The cable is on the shorter side.

TRENDnet is another company that a lot of people can swear by thanks to how good their products have become over the past couple of years. If you are looking for something good, going for a TRENDnet router or adapter is the right way to go on because you know you are getting something that has quality.

With that said, the TRENDnet AC1900 is the one that we are looking at today, and since I have been an advocate of performance for as long as I can remember. With that said, the AC1900 is not something that is going to disappoint you as it is consistently good in every single way, and that is what we love here.

For starters, you are getting one of the best adapters in terms of how easy it is to install; you will not have to struggle with the installation process at all, as you can just be done in a few minutes. Not just that, the overall performance remains one of the best nearby, and I had no issues.

The adapter also looks good, so that is another thing that you are getting access to, and you will not be regretting that at all.

My only issue here is that the cable of this adapter is shorter, so you are, in one way, limited to the amount of length that you are given. Aside from that, there are no issues that can come in the way as to how this adapter performs. So, it is better that you are aware of this beforehand.

– Our Verdict:

If you are in search of something good and reliable, then the TRENDnet AC 1900 is something that is going to win you over, thanks to how good it performs and how effortless it is. Granted, there are a few shortcomings that might come your way, but overall, you are not going to have any issues.

You will be more than happy with this adapter as the performance levels are adequate on all fronts, and it works well across the board.


#7 – ASUS AC1900


– Specifications:

  • Dual-band AC1900 Wi-Fi.
  • Powerful 3×4 MIMO design.
  • Dual 3-position antennas.
  • USB 3.0 cradle for easy placement.
  • Foldable design.
  • Supports every major OS.

– Advantages:

  • Excellent performance in every condition.
  • The internal and external 3-point antennas are great to have.
  • The adapter comes with a USB cable for easy placement.

– Drawbacks:

  • None.

The next adapter that we are looking at is from Asus all over again. That is because Asus has kept us covered for some time now. They have some great offerings available for a variety of price ranges, which is going to ensure that nothing else is going to go wrong when you buy their products.

For now, we are looking at the ASUS AC1900 wireless adapter. It is important to know that Asus has a similar name for its router as well, and that may cause some confusion. But the one that we are looking at is a Wi-Fi adapter strictly, and boy, if it’s good.

Right out of the box, you are getting an adapter that has one of the best performances that we have seen to this date, and while that might not be of any importance to a lot of people, if you truly want something good, this is what you should be buying.

In addition to that, you are getting internal and external 3-point antennas, which are excellent for range, and the performance of this adapter across different ranges is also great. Asus is also generous enough to provide a USB cradle in case you want to place the adapter at a distance or somewhere else.

As far as the downsides are concerned, I have been using this adapter for some time, and I cannot recall a single time this adapter created any issues for me. Needless to say, you are looking at something that has great performance through and through, and you will not be disappointed at all.

– Our Verdict:

It should not come as a surprise that the ASUS AC1900 Wi-Fi adapter is one of the best that you can buy if you are in the market looking for something that is not only solid but also works well. You truly are getting something that is great to every single extent.

If you are looking for something that delivers a promising experience without any issue coming in the way, you should just forget about anything else and get your hands on this adapter, and you will do just fine.


#8 – Linksys WUSB6300


– Specifications:

  • Up to 867 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
  • Compatible with all Wireless AC 802.11ac routers.
  • Supports up to 128-bit encryption.
  • Support WPS.
  • Easy setup.
  • Slim profile.

– Advantages:

  • One of the slimmest profiles.
  • Easy to install.
  • Great build quality.
  • Good software support.
  • Excellent performance.

– Drawbacks:

  • Signal strength suffers over longer distances.
  • Throughput can be inconsistent.

The last product on our list is from Linksys, and it is safe to say that they have done great work in the market for networking products as they have been excellent through and through. So, if you are looking for something that is good and has great performance, this is the way that you should be going.

Also if you are looking for something durable, and something that just works well, then the Linksys WUSB6300 is the adapter that you should be looking at. After all, performance is what matters to most of us, and this is what the adapter is all about.

For starters, you are getting an adapter with a great, slim profile, which means that installing it is one of the easiest things that you can do. IN addition to that, the software is super easy to understand and works like a charm. You are also getting dual LEDs for status, and one of the best performance on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Sadly, there are a few issues that we have encountered. The signal strength, at least in our unit, was not as strong, and there were some throughput performance inconsistencies as well. Which is what most people will not have concerns over, but we still feel like we must mention these things here.

– Our Verdict:

While the Linksys WUSB6300 is not going to break any grounds in terms of performance, it is one of those adapters that you buy because you are aware of how good it performs. If performance is one of the concerns that you have, getting your hands on this adapter is a great way to get started.

You are not going to be disappointed as far as the performance is concerned, and you are getting your hands on something excellent. As long as you are aware of the minor inconveniences, you will do just fine.


What To Look For In A Best Wi-Fi Adapter For Gaming?


Since we are done looking at all the available adapters, the next step is to start focusing on what to look for whenever you are getting your hands on one. I understand that it might be an overwhelming situation for many; it is better that you are making sense of everything that you have.

You’ll like this too:

Best Router For Gaming In 2021 – (Tried & Tested)
Best Gaming Routers For PS5 In 2021 – (Reviewed)
Best Gaming Routers For PS4 In 2021 – (The Ultimate Guide)


2.4GHz vs. 5GHz


This is a very common ordeal for a lot of people whenever they are in the market looking for a router of a wireless adapter. The thing is that both hands have their benefits and their downsides, and that is why most people get confused. Let’s make it easier for you.

2.4 GHZ vs 5 GHZ

The 2.4GHz band is slower, as you would imagine. However, one of the benefits that it does bring is that it offers a better range than the 5GHz band. So, if the range is the one thing that you want, go for the 2.4GHz band.

On the other hand, you have the 5GHz band, offers better performance but also suffers from the ranged performance. Therefore, the choice is entirely yours and is based on your preference here.


Kinds Of Adapters: The Form Factor


In addition to that, whenever you are in the market looking at the Wi-Fi adapters that are available, you are going to run into several different types that have become common in the market. There is nothing major that separates them; it’s just that they work in different ways.

Image of USB Wifi Adapter

We have covered both USB-based Wi-Fi adapters on our list that are a lot more portable and can easily be carried wherever you want to go. In addition to that, you also have access to PCI Express-based Wi-Fi adapters that are installed on the PCI Express slot inside your case, and while they do provide better performance in some cases, they are not portable at all.

Whenever you are in the market, make sure that you are aware of these two most common adapters and then make your decision, so nothing else goes wrong in the process.


USB 2.0 Vs USB 3.0


Whenever you are searching for Wi-Fi adapters, you will come across several options as far as the USB standard is concerned. The USB 2.0 is still being used widely for one reason or another despite being older.

Image of six usb wifi devices

With that said, the speeds are going to be affected if you decide to go for a USB 2.0 standard. In addition to that, since the USB 3.0 has become a lot more common, it makes no sense to go for the older standard, unless, of course, you have an older device that is still running on an older USB, then it makes sense.

But if you are looking for the absolute best performance and unrivalled compatibility, then going for a Wi-Fi adapter that has USB 3.0 standard makes more sense than you might think. It is also less prone to any other issues coming your way, so it makes a safer buy.


The Range Of A Wi-Fi Adapter


In addition to that, you are going to need a good range from the adapter that you are about to get your hands on. A lot of the times, people don’t pay attention to what adapter they are opting for and they end up going for something that is not good enough.

The best thing that I can tell you here is that you should always pay attention to the range. Ideally, you should be going for adapters that have more antennas and the ability to go for remote placement, as that is going to be of great help, and you will not have any issues that might come your way.


Is An Antenna A Good Idea?


Whenever you are searching for a new Wi-Fi adapter, you are often going to come across options that will have antennas, and at the same time, there will be some offerings that will ship without antennas. The choice is yours.

Image of a wifi antenna

But if you are concerned about performance over the range, it is better that you are looking at a wireless adapter that offers good range because that is what seems to be the most important thing here, and we would not suggest anyone go with something that does not give good enough range, as it will not make much sense, to begin with.

If you want better performance across various ranges, go for an adapter that has antennas.


Wireless Standard & AC Ratings


In addition to that, whenever you are buying a new Wi-Fi adapter or a router, for that matter. It is better that you check something like the wireless standards or AC ratings of the device that you are about to get your hands on. I know it might not sound like something that is important, but it can make a whole lot of difference.

You just need to be sure that you are aware of what different standards mean, and you will do just fine. The latest Wi-Fi standard that you need to know is the 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), it is the fastest, but the applications are not as common. Still, if you want future-proofing, you can always go for this standard, and you will do just fine.

On the other hand, you have the 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), which is the most common and is being widely used. There are other standards, too. But they are not as commonly used in the market, and therefore, are often overlooked, as well.


MU-MIMO & Beamforming


Whenever you are looking at Wi-Fi adapters or routers, for that matter. The two things that you are going to see very common are MU-MIMO or Beamforming. While some people confuse both of these technologies with each other, they are inherently different, and it is important to know why.

For starters, MU-MIMO (Multi-User – Multiple Input, Multiple Output) will let multiple users that can each communicate to multiple antennas on the router at the same time, which is good when you are talking about consistent range and performance.

On the other hand, Beamforming is just as important because it allows the router to focus all the signal strength on the devices that are connected to it rather than just spreading it everywhere. It might sound like a gimmick, but it is not, and it works well.

So, if you are spending money on a good Wi-Fi adapter, at least make sure that you can get something that is going to work well, and gives excellent performance in all cases there are.


Final Verdict:

With everything out of the way, we are finally done with the list, and we have looked at some of the best Wi-Fi adapters that are available in the market. Granted, the choosing process can be a bit complicated for a lot of people, but we are here to make things easier for everyone. Wherein the process is not going to cause you any issues

We have only included the best possible adapters that you can get your hands on, which means that you will not have to think about it, and just make the decision that you are most comfortable with and that too, without any issues that might come your way. Rest assured, you will not have any problems that might come your way.

All the adapters that we have listed here are excellent in their way, and the best part is that they work without any issues that you might run into. Therefore, picking up these adapters is going to be a great overall experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Which Wi-Fi adapter is best for gaming?

All the Wi-Fi adapters that we have tested are excellent in every single way. You do not need specific technology to have good gaming performance or better latency. Just a good internet connection and a reliable adapter.

#2 – Are Wi-Fi USB adapters good?

Yes, the USB-based Wi-Fi adapter works just fine. Just be sure that you have a properly functioning USB port that does not lose power because of power-saving mode, and you will do just fine.

#3 – Does Wi-Fi adapter affect Internet speed?

No, these adapters are just there to provide Wi-Fi capability to the device that does not have it, by default. They are not going to increase or decrease the internet speed.

#4 – Is Wi-Fi OK for gaming?

In the past, Wi-Fi connections used to suffer from packet loss, and it would result in the games facing disconnection and latency issues. However, modern Wi-Fi standards have improved, and these issues are gone.

#5 – Are USB Wi-Fi adapters better than PCI?

In terms of portability and ease of access, USB adapters are a lot simpler because you can just take them anywhere with you, while the PCI Express adapters have to remain installed inside your case all the time.

#6 – How long do USB Wi-Fi adapters last?

There is no given lifespan on these devices; they are just like any other USB devices, and as long as they are not being exposed to harsh conditions, they should keep working without any issues.

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